I love reading books that surprise me with a unique concept and yet feel natural and inevitable.
Some of the freshest stories combine the expected with the unexpected. When I read
unique stories, I like to ask myself these questions:
1. What made this story unique?
2. How did the author combine the expected and the unexpected?
3. What is the best part about this fresh concept?
4. What elements of the story can I add to my writing?
5. How can I add the unexpected to my story to make it sing like the mentor texts I've read?
Here are a few mentor texts with fresh concepts:
Barnaby Never Forgets, by by Pierre Collet-Derby
At first this story seems like a copy of Shell Silverstein's poem, SICK. But the last page made me laugh out loud. And the fresh take at handling forgetfulness is great for anyone who sometimes forgets.
After the Fall, by Dan Santat
This story takes Humpty Dumpty and turns his story on its head. Instead of focusing on the fall, we learn about what happened after the fall. The illustrations and text enhance an incredible story about accepting what's happened and overcoming fear.
And what is more fresh than a unicorn born underwater?
The synergy of the rhyme and illustrations in this book create a whimsical masterpiece--a fresh twist on Cinderella, girl power, and STEM!
Jody Jensen Shaffer, Stephanie Laberis
The idea of a cow who is unsatisfied with doing what cows do, is hilarious. Fresh, funny and a great read-aloud, this story takes the farm animal trope and turns it into a story about the value of individualism.
What are your favorite books that combine the expected and the unexpected to create something new?
Now take the weekend off to read, reflect, and get ready for Monday's perspectives!
Kirsti is giving away a copy of her book, The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall! To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must comment on each post, be registered, and consistently read picture books throughout the challenge.
Kirsti Call is the co-coordinator of ReFoReMo. She reads, critiques and revises every day as a member of various critique groups, and blogs for Writer's Rumpus. As the author of The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall, Kirsti coaches revision for children ages 5-18. Her school visits involve interactive writing, singing, and of course, reading for research! Kirsti contributed as a 2015 CYBILS YA Fiction panelist and 2016/2017 CYBILS fiction picture book panelist.